You are still reeling from your experiences during narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship.
And who could blame you?
After all, you’ve lost your sense of who you are and of what reality is all about. It’s not that you’ve lost your intelligence or your personality – it’s just that it feels kind of disjointed or disconnected from the person you are today.
Something you may not remember right now is that MOST people you meet actually really enjoy your company.
They like you as a person, and they value your contributions. You’re great at conversation and even better at making people feel worthy and seen.
That is what the narcissist has hidden from you, and it’s why you’re feeling so foggy and lost, at least in part.
Understanding Brain Fog and C-PTSD in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Brain fog is common for survivors of circumstances when a loved one- especially a parent-was dealing with untreated mental illness.
How can your brain feel so foggy after a relationship with a toxic person? Brain fog is a difficult and confusing experience to live through, and it is one that is poorly understood by most people.
Brain Fog is, to put it simply, the feeling of dissociation or disconnectedness often experienced during and after narcissistic abuse. It’s a symptom of C-PTSD. It is what’s happening when you’re feeling lost, like you’re not really there, or like you’re watching your life through a screen or a bubble. You might also feel stuck and unable to function like you normally would.
How can you tell you’re dealing with brain fog?
Brain fog presents itself in different ways for different people. Some feel just stuck and unable to function.
Others feel like they’re watching their lives through a movie screen or like they’re in some kind of bubble that makes them feel like they’re not really here, or like they’re separated from everyone else.
What are the effects of brain fog after narcissistic abuse?
Along with the brain fog effects listed here, there are many other issues and concerns for those of us who have or have had struggles with brain fog.
But ultimately, when you realize that you have been gaslighted for many years and wonder why your health problems are getting worse, or why you are experiencing brain fog, that is because of the trauma from the abuse. (If you think you’re being gaslighted but you’re not sure, take this free gaslighting self-assessment).
Childhood trauma and toxic families lead to C-PTSD.
There is hope… even if you have severe brain fog and other illnesses related to the disorder. (If you think you’ve got C-PTSD, take this free C-PTSD self-assessment and find out).
The brain fog that many of us experience after a narcissistic relationship is one of the many symptoms of CPTSD. Brain fog is an impairment in a person’s ability to process information, think clearly, and make good decisions.
You may feel like you’re in a mental fog or daze most days or have difficulty remembering what you were just thinking about. This can go hand-in-hand with the memory problems experienced with PTSD, especially if the abuse you experienced was not physical but psychological.
Want to learn more about brain fog and narcissistic abuse recovery?
*Disclaimer – Please note: First and foremost, If you think you may be experiencing these symptoms, you should see a doctor. The last thing anyone wants is to end up misdiagnosed and treated for something that’s not impacting their health. ALWAYS be sure to check in with a doctor first, do your research, and talk to other people before making any decisions about your treatment options.
You might call a narcissist who has found rock bottom a collapsed narcissist. In general, narcissists hit rock bottom when they are able to no longer manipulate, exploit and abuse others.
In other words, narcissist rock bottom is what happens when the narcissist finally realizes that their abusive behavior will not be tolerated any longer, that what they have done has gotten out of control, or that they’re about to lose everything.
Unfortunately, it is typically later rather than sooner. It can take many years of ongoing manipulation and abuse before they hit rock bottom. Often, it happens when their closest sources of narcissistic supply go away, whether by their own choice or otherwise.
Why do narcissists hit rock bottom?
Narcissists crave power and control like an alcoholic craves their favorite drink. Narcissists NEED to have the people around them feeling weak and unempowered – this way, they’re malleable so that they’re easily controlled.
But when these people walk away and stop doing what the narcissist wants before they’re ready for it, the narcissist’s biggest fears are realized.
A narcissist’s lack of capacity for empathy and emotional depth, paired with a desperate need to feel validated and congratulated by others, will often result in their demise.
They will do just about anything to feel significant and special – so much so that they may lie, cheat and manipulate to get their own way.
So ironically it is their desperation for significance and validation which ultimately serves as the catalyst for their narcissist rock bottom.
What scares a narcissist?
As often as a narcissist threatens, directly or indirectly, to abandon you, you’d think they were perfectly secure in their ability to remain surrounded by sources of narcissistic supply – as in, people who love, admire, and serve them as needed.
But the truth is that while abandonment is probably the most human fear one can have, narcissists aren’t immune.
In fact, if we’re being honest, they’re probably pretty normal this way.
With that being said, the difference between a narcissist’s fear of abandonment and that of the average person is that a narcissist will actively abuse and manipulate the people around them in order to control them and keep them in their place.
How do the narcissist’s fears coming true lead them to hit rock bottom?
Fear of abandonment comes to fruition when you walk away from the narcissist. Now, don’t expect them to recognize this right away – but it’ll relieve some of the tension for them initially – even just the idea that they’ll be able to openly meet new people can be a huge thrill.
At first, they will feel free and some version of happy – but then one day (maybe even the same day the relationship ends), they’ll remember something that you used to do for them, and they’ll want that back.
If your resist (and I hope you do – read this about how to avoid the hoover maneuver), the narcissist attempts to navigate their remaining relationships – often not even personal ones, they grow frustrated and angry.
What does the narcissist experience at rock bottom?
You might think that when a narcissist hits rock bottom, they will finally see the light and realize how awful they truly have been – and you’d hope they’d be SO SORRY for this abusive behavior they’ve been serving up all these years.
As amazing as that would be, it’s rarely the case. Instead:
They will probably feel like their world has been turned upside down and they have no idea how to fix it.
They may become depressed and experience symptoms of anxiety-like panic attacks or insomnia.
They may also lash out at others for no reason at all.
Whatever happens, you can expect them to be acting extremely erratic and unpredictable as they expertly play the victim.
The Narcissist’s Backup Plan
Before the narcissist knows it, you’re off living in a totally cute place that’s a little too far to just drop in. And, you’ll have the nerve to want your privacy, which won’t be tolerated if they are still part of your life.
Eventually, they begin to guilt and shame the few people who remain close to them, seemingly doing their very best to push your emotions aside. This, combined with a lack of narcissistic supply, culminates in the narcissist’s idea of actual hell.
So, the moment any source of narcissistic supply refuses to comply with their wishes or orders, the narcissist has lost control of that person and therefore has no influence over them anymore.
And that’s one of the narcissist’s OTHER biggest fears: that they’re so insignificant that no one cares what they say, do, think, or feel.
This right here is exactly what causes them to tend to need a backup ‘source of supply’ (since they can’t be alone), so they very often attempt preemptively replace a source of supply.
Unfortunately, it can be one of the most dangerous times for you. Because a narcissist who has hit rock bottom may feel as though they have nothing left to lose. They don’t even have the narcissistic supply they need to function – so their desperation can lead them to lash out.
The narcissist eventually hits rock bottom and they feel unbearable sadness, grief, or remorse because they can’t continue the way they are going anymore. In order to keep this grief or pain at bay, they will stoop to any level.
The Narcissist’s Rock Bottom Patterns
When the narcissist finally hits rock bottom, there is a predictable pattern that emerges. This pattern is so predictable that it can be used as a roadmap for how to deal with the situation.
The narcissist’s life will begin to crumble under the weight of their own lies and deceit.
This collapse may occur because of something external like losing their job or a major financial setback or some other traumatic event in their life.
It could also happen because they have become so absorbed in their own self-image that they cannot see reality any longer – they live in a world of illusion created by their own ego which is beyond their control.
As they begin to realize that they are no longer able to maintain this illusion, they become increasingly agitated, depressed, and angry until they reach a point where there is nothing left but rage at themselves for being so stupid as to believe such obvious lies about themselves as well as rage at those who duped them into believing these lies were true.
Should you support a narcissist who is at or near rock bottom?
Believe me, I get it – as an empath, you naturally want to support someone in pain, especially when it’s someone you love or loved so deeply.
But listen to me, don’t do it. Not this time. Hear me out.
As much as helping them would serve some codependent part of yourself, the narcissist is likely to cruelly reject your offers for help. This will make you feel rejected – again- and that’s going to do a real number on not only your self-esteem but also your psyche – triggering would be putting it mildly.
Personally, I don’t think you owe them any of your time or support, but if you must give it to them, try giving them space and let them know when you’re available if they want to talk about anything (without pressure!).
This affiliation is part of an effort to provide more effective and useful solutions for healing from narcissistic abuse.
Who is Dr. Judy Rosenberg?
Dr. Judy Rosenberg is the founder of the Psychological Healing Center and the Be The Cause® Mind Map System to help “Heal Human Disconnect,” the cause of most psychopathology. By helping people identify their problem and dismantle it, Dr. Judy helps her patients to paradigm shift from the problem into the solution. She completed her undergraduate work in psychology at UCLA and her graduate work at CGI (California Graduate Institute).
Dr. Judy is currently in private practice in Sherman Oaks and Beverly Hills, CA, and continues to help people with various psychological issues. You may also know her from YouTube as Dr. Judy WTF?!, as she has a weekly call-in radio show titled Dr. Judy WTF (What The Freud?!). Her focus there is on healing the “hole in the soul” that results from Human Disconnect.
She is a consultant to the media and has appeared on several television shows and is often interviewed by high-profile publications. Her recent appearances include Huffington Post, MTV, E Entertainment, KCAL News, CBS News, CNN, and Animal Planet. She has been in private practice as a clinical psychologist since 1996.
What is QueenBeeing?
QueenBeeing is an online, comprehensive Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support System created by certified life coach Angie Atkinson and continuously supported by our team of fellow survivors, certified life coaches, and mental health professionals. QueenBeeing also features a strong, vibrant, supportive community for survivors of Narcissistic Abuse that offers support in the form of support groups, counseling, coaching, and a number of courses and tools available for low or no cost.
In addition to the mission of empowering survivors of narcissistic abuse to become thrivers and to create the lives they want, QueenBeeing.com has launched a movement to spread awareness and to help survivors create change in their own families and social circles to prevent enabling and creating toxic people in this world.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
Have you ever wondered why narcissists have a way of minimizing everything you do, say, think, or feel?
Narcissists are never generous with praise unless they’re using it as a way to manipulate you. In general, once they get past the love-bombing phase of the relationship, narcissists have a way of never doing or saying anything to make you feel good about yourself.
If you feel like you have to work a little harder to earn the praise of a narcissist, it’s not because they’re harder to please or discriminating in their approval. It’s because they have reached the “devalue” phase of the toxic relationship.
What is the devalue phase of the toxic relationship?
Devaluationis what happens when a narcissist tears you down emotionally, insults you (outright or covertly), and makes you doubt yourself and your self-worth. This is done as part of the cycle of abuse and when effective, it can cause you to believe you don’t have a chance of finding someone better, or that you’re not worthy of love or consideration.
The narcissist will often use devaluation to keep you from leaving by implanting such ideas in your head. Alternatively, some narcissists don’t even recognize they’re doing it since it’s part of the standard cycle of abuse. It can happen to a “thing” just as easily as a person when a narcissist is involved.
Why does the narcissist downplay your worth?
Narcissists downplay your worth and highlight their own accomplishments, in part because they want to keep you feeling inferior, but it’s more complicated than this. In fact, narcissists use their “false selves” to mask their deeply profound insecurity and often use this tactic to sort of boost their own ego.
It’s all about making sure they have control over us and keeping us feeling less than them so they can get what they want out of life while using our goodwill as leverage against us when needed.
In other words, they need to feel that they are above you, that they are superior to you in every single way.
What does it mean when the narcissist compliments you?
Do you sometimes feel that when narcissists do compliment you or praise you it is not genuine? Well, you are right. It isn’t. As a matter of fact; narcissists downplay the worth of those with whom they wish to gain favor.
If we are on their good side (during the idealization or love-bombing phase), then we will get compliments from them about how wonderful we are doing at work or school or even in our personal relationships.
Sometimes when narcissists compliment us, it is done so in a way that makes us feel inferior or lesser than them – or it’s about impressing someone else who overhears the compliment. The other reason a narcissist might compliment you outside of the love-bombing phase is to take credit for your work or efforts in some way.
Explaining by Example: The Narcissist at Work
In order to understand this behavior better; let us consider an example of how someone with narcissistic personality disorder might behave in a work environment. The narcissist will often claim credit for various projects even if he or she had nothing to do with their completion or success.
They will brag about their accomplishments and compare them favorably to others’. At the same time, he or she will also put down coworkers and subordinates who may have made similar contributions but not received as much recognition as they did.
Narcissists like to make themselves seem better than everyone else around them, especially if these people have something that the narcissist does not have (money, power, fame).
So, when a narcissist compliments you, it is not because of your worth, beauty, or talents. It is to get you under their authority so that they can use your talents for their own good.
Learn more about narcissists and the devalue phase of the toxic relationship
So you’re wondering what the difference is between a twin flame and a narcissist? That’s understandable. A narcissist can masquerade as a twin flame, so it makes sense that you’d be wondering who you might be dealing with – especially when you’ve dealt with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship.
A narcissist is someone with a very specific personality disorder (NPD) that leads to an inflated sense of self-esteem and a diminished capacity for empathy and compassion. Narcissists are often manipulative and controlling, as well as emotionally abusive.
What is a twin flame?
Your twin flame is your true spiritual partner, the one you have been waiting for your entire life. A twin flame is an incredibly intense soul connection. When a soul is created, it is split into two parts. Mirrors of each other, constantly yearning to connect. Even when you least expect it, this can result in an instant, powerful connection when you meet your twin flame. There’s little scientific evidence for twin flame relationships, although some psychologists argue the phenomenon is real.
The purpose of a twin flame relationship is to awaken you to your untapped potential and ignite a fire deep inside you. This relationship pushes you to do and be better. Opening up a world of possibilities you never even dreamed of.
Please keep in mind that finding a twin flame isn’t easy. Some never even find their twin within this lifetime! With that being said, it’s really easy to label a new partner as a “twin flame,” just when you think things are going well. Before all the problems start showing.
Are twin flames the same as soulmates and twin souls?
Twin flames are often confused with “soul mates” and “twin souls.” These terms do not mean the same thing as “twin flame.” A soul mate might be someone that you have had many lifetimes with, but that does not mean you were meant to be together romantically in this lifetime. In fact, the majority of soul mates do not experience an intimate relationship together in this lifetime.
What’s the difference between soul mates and twin flames?
Unlike soul mates, twin flames are not necessarily romantic partners. They may be our parents or children, or they may be so young that we don’t yet recognize the relationship.
Twins are intense teachers, showing us what we need to work on in ourselves. You can bet that your twin flame will challenge you like no one else ever has!
The most important lesson twin flames teach us is unconditional love. Twins show us how to grow beyond our ego-based selves and into our higher selves. They’re here to help us remember who we are as spiritual beings having human experiences.
What is a true twin flame relationship like?
Twin flame relationships are intense, and it’s not unusual for them to start with a sudden and powerful connection. They’re also highly emotional, thanks to the deep spiritual connection between twins.
While twin flames can have close emotional bonds, they can also be quite distant from each other. Some of these relationships never become physical, and some end in heartbreak or betrayal. Twin flames don’t need words to communicate — their spirits are connected.
What are the signs of a twin flame relationship?
When things seem too good to be true they often are, but in this case, they’re not. However, a true twin flame relationship is not a relationship that is all roses and rainbows 24/7. It is a higher calling, and for it to work, both the twins need to be willing to do the inner work. The challenge is not with the other person but with oneself. Here are the defining traits of a true twin flame relationship:
The twin flame relationship is all-consuming.
The twin flame connection is instant and so strong that it can be overwhelming at times. It is an instant, instinctive and undeniable soul connection that transcends the physical.
It starts with a sudden connection.
You feel like you have known them before
You feel like you can communicate without having to speak
This can be a tumultuous relationship at times but it will bring extreme joy and happiness as well.
A strong sense of spiritual connection is present from the start.
The twin flame mirrors you.
They mirror your own personality and issues back to you (which is why many people run from their true twin flame. They don’t want to face their own reflection!) Your soul starts awakening as soon as you meet your twin flame even if you never make contact with them in this lifetime.
You feel like you can see into each other’s souls
A deep, telepathic knowing of one another.
Intense emotions come with the territory.
The feeling that you’ve known each other for many lifetimes.
You have an intense desire to help each other evolve and grow spiritually.
The relationship feels like a homecoming.
There’s an instant feeling of familiarity. Twin flames complete each other on a soul level, which is why the relationship feels so comfortable and familiar, even though you may have never met before.
There is an unspoken understanding of one another on the deepest level that only your souls can truly describe. You’re able to be completely honest with each other and share anything without fear of judgment or being misunderstood.
Romantic twin flames are friends first and lovers second.
Twin flames have a strong sense of purpose to their lives individually and together, so they often have other priorities besides just being “the one” for each other romantically.
There is a camaraderie and friendship that builds over time as you go through life together as companions, partners in crime, best friends, and loves.
The relationship has ups and downs, but you’re always drawn back to each other.
You can’t stop thinking about them or missing them when they’re not around, even if it’s only been a few hours since you last saw each other, this is especially true of the twin flame runner dynamic where one person will run from the relationship due to the intensity of the connection and the need for personal growth before he/she can be with his/her twin in union (twin flames unite on a soul level first before they unite in a physical incarnation).
You feel an overwhelming sense of spiritual oneness with each other, as if your souls were merging together when you’re together and when you’re apart, you can still sense each other’s energy and presence in a way that feels both familiar and deeply nurturing to your soul.
What is a false twin flame?
There is something called a “false twin flame,” which is sadly more common than a true twin flame. These fake twin flame relationships can often be found in toxic narcissistic relationships.
Sometimes the narcissist won’t even realize that they’re doing this, as they may have been taught to act this way by their parents who were also toxic.
The narcissist will lure you in with compliments and love-bombing, but eventually, you’ll see that it was all an act. They want you to think they are your twin flame which is the very definition of the term.
How can you tell the difference between a twin flame and a malignant narcissist in a relationship?
The beginning of both twin flame and narcissist relationships can be beautiful. This is why it’s important to know the difference. A narcissist pretending to be your twin flame will say anything to keep you believing them. They’ll say they are exactly the person you are looking for, but you’ll notice their actions say otherwise.
While it is true that narcissism exists on the same spectrum of unhealthy attachments to spirit – and is often confused for a twin flame connection – it is not the same thing.
The malignant narcissist is someone whose ego has become so inflated that they see their own reflection in everything around them, and everyone else as an inferior extension of themselves. They are constantly seeking validation from others and are unable to give it to themselves. They have boundless energy when they connect with someone they feel they can feed off, but they also have almost no empathy for others. As a result, they cannot form real connections with others because they are not bonding with another person, but instead are trying to fill up their own empty space by projecting themselves onto other people and getting what they want from them. A narcissist is someone who has a deep sense of insecurity and low self-esteem that uses grandiosity to cover their pain. Narcissists have a hard time empathizing with others, but even then their needs come first. They struggle to form real relationships and live in a fantasy world where they are above everyone else.
The Twin Flame
On the other hand, a twin flame partner reflects your greatest light back to you – but not in an egotistical way. A twin flame relationship can be intense because it forces us to look at ourselves and our patterns more deeply than we ever have before. It makes us feel vulnerable and exposed but also gives us the opportunity to heal.
A true twin flame will have no problem committing to you. Once you’ve reached the union phase of the twin flame journey. You’ll know exactly where you stand with them. With no game playing or confusion! A narcissist on the other hand will never fully commit to just one person.
A twin flame is someone who comes into our lives to help us evolve spiritually. With them, we experience deep love, passion, intimacy, companionship, unconditional love, and true friendship. They encourage us to become the best versions of ourselves and mirror our deepest desires.
What are the similarities between twin flame love and narcissistic love?
There are lots of similarities between twin flame love and narcissistic love, including the following.
The instant connection of a twin flame can feel similar to the euphoric love feeling of a narcissistic relationship feels during the love bomb phases. This is why it’s important to not ignore these red flags and know the difference – so that you don’t end up falling into the abusive cycle of a narcissist, thinking they are your twin flame.
In both relationships, there will be moments when you feel more deeply connected than ever before.
There will also be times when you question your sanity.
Both relationships will lead you to incredible levels of personal development, in very different ways.
How do you find your true twin flame?
If you are looking to draw in your true twin flame the best way is through inner work and self-love. After all, no union can be achieved unless the work is done first.
Twin flame love is all about self-improvement.
So if you need help with that, I suggest meditation, self-reflection, self-love, and manifestation tools.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner…some are looking for love and some already have it. Don’t be too discouraged If you don’t have a Valentine this year. It’s the perfect time to work on things like self-love, which is the most important kind of love. Also, a powerful tool that helps you to draw in more love. For a new partner or a twin flame. A term that’s picked up momentum the past few years. Different from a soul mate.
A useful tool I have for this is a twin flame candle I designed for drawing in your twin flame. Infused with special crystals to help you manifest more powerfully. With rose quartz crystals for friendship and love, along with Carnelian and red jasper for sexual energy and excitement. The way to use this candle is to set your intentions each time you use it. Recharging it each time. Even comes with a prayer for invoking and drawing in your twin flame. Candles in general are a very useful tool for manifesting.
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